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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 7

Ex-'American Idol' semifinalist Luke Menard diagnosed with cancer

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/21/2008 

Luke Menard fought as an American Idol seventh-season semifinalist, but now he's facing a much more serious battle.

The 29-year-old from Crawfordsville, IN has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a representative for the singer's a cappella group Chapter 6 confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday.

"Luke had a lingering cough and was having trouble breathing deeply, so he went to the doctor to have it checked out," Jane Victor told CBS News. "The suspicion was walking pneumonia. But after a chest x-ray doctors saw a mass and did more testing, which is what led to the stage II Hodgkin diagnosis."

Despite Hodgkin lymphoma -- a cancer of the immune system -- being inoperable, it is currently considered to be one of the most curable forms of cancer, and Menard's family remains optimistic.

"They've been told that it's treatable and manageable," Victor told CBS News.  "Luke is currently in Los Angeles and plans to return home to Indiana soon."

Menard auditioned for Idol's seventh season last summer in Omaha and made it through the show's subsequent Hollywood Round to become one of the Top 24 semifinalists.  He was eliminated in early March on the cusp of becoming one of the Top 12 finalists.

Following his elimination, Menard told reporters he planned to pursue a career in both acting and music.

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